Someday they will find me. I’ll be facedown in my apartment, or possibly on a sidewalk somewhere in the neighborhood. There will be pint containers littered around my body. My pants, if I’m even wearing any, will be unbuttoned or even busted out at the seams. My cold, stiff fingers will be irretrievably clutched around a large spoon. My crazy, frozen eyeballs will be wide-open, revealing my final manic moments. The authroities will possibly send a forensic team to search for clues. They might draw an outline of my body with chalk and pluck hairs out of my nose for evidence. Yet, the simple autopsy will reveal the cause of my demise: salted caramel ice cream.
I will have died happy.
I have only recently, probably within the past six months or so, been hip to salted caramel ice cream. Over the past couple of years, a handful of indie ice cream joints have popped up around the city. This is no colors-not-found-in-nature, nasty Baskin & Robbins fare. Hell no. These mighty little shops are all about creativity, superior ingredients and phenomenal flavors. The ice cream they peddle is high culinary art. It was in one of these shops that my palate and waistline would change forever.
I don’t know what it is about salted caramel ice cream but I was addicted immediately. Perhaps it was the rockin’ combination of salty and sweet. It might have been the simple cool creaminess or the soft buttery undertones. My son Enzo thinks there’s something about the fact that it melts more quickly than other flavors. Perhaps I contemplate too much the law of impermanence as reflected in a bowl of ice cream. It is no wonder that I am a Buddha belly. The bottom line is this: I’m hooked.
I am helpless and aquiver in the face of salted caramel ice cream. If I don’t bring it home, then I have a fighting chance, an opportunity to resist its come-hither seduction and retain my dignity. But once it is brought into my home- even a single pint across the threshold-then I am its bitch. I will eat salted caramel ice cream every night. I will sneak bites throughout the day, sometimes running water in the kitchen so my kid won’t hear what I’m up to. I’m like a mad-eye inebriate hiding booze. However, for obvious reasons, I can’t stash a pint of salted caramel ice cream in the closet. (I also can’t refill the container with water to make it look like I haven’t had any.) If there is salted caramel in the freezer, it whistles and catcalls at me all day, like a construction worker yelling at a woman walking down the street, “Hey baby, want some of this? You know you do.”
As I’ve written in a recent post, I have a class reunion coming up in September and have been trying to drop a few pounds before I go. I had done pretty well this summer, that is, up until a few weeks ago. A guy a few doors down was doing some kind of project that involved the steady rat-a-tat-tat of a jackhammer. It went on for three days, making it impossible to think, write or even concentrate on the simplest of things. I used this as a cheap excuse to go out and buy a pint of salted caramel ice cream; it has been several pints and a downward spiral ever since. I’m like a thrashing trout with a hook in her mouth. Just this week, I’ve had salted caramel ice cream three gluttonous nights in a row. I’m disgusted with myself. I’m also in heaven. Guilty pleasures are like that; they’re typically full of calories and ambiguity.
In the grand scheme of things, my jones for salted caramel ice cream is kindergarten stuff. I don’t smoke, drink or do drugs. I can easily walk away from other flavors of ice cream such as the Mexican chocolate or Ube (purple yam) that they sell at Full Tilt, our favorite indie ice cream joint. (This place also has old-school video games like Pac-Man and Asteroids that you can play for a quarter.) I can take a pass on a lot of things that other people get tangled up in: Cheetos, sniffing glue, baked potatoes, Hookah pipes, whatever. But salted caramel ice cream has some kind of a nutty, voodoo spell over me.
I am interested in hearing about your guilty pleasures. Is there anything (plant, animal, mineral, etc.) that you find impossible to resist? And how does it make you feel? Deliriously happy? Disgusted? A little of both? I’m pretty new to Open Salon and this is my first open-ended shout. If you have thoughts on this, I hope you’ll hit me or better yet, bang out a post.